Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
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24-11-2013, 10:04 PM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
(24-11-2013 09:56 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Alright, it took some digging, but this is a post I made quite some time ago to a theist who claimed to want to get to know the "atheist mind" or some shit. I could edit it but I'm lazy so I'll just copy/paste the whole thing. I believe it's more along the line of what the OP was asking.

(and I know, I misattributed the quote to Hitchens, but he's who I heard say it first)

(17-04-2013 11:23 PM)evenheathen Wrote:  Alright, hold on. You're getting your taint in a tizzy again. Blush

Love is probably the most important and influential emotion that humanity has, second maybe only to fear. You want to know more about atheists? I'll bite. You started out a little sketchy, but seem to be becoming more genuine as this thread progresses so I'll throw my 2 coppers at ya.

Eternal? Where is the evidence of that? We can go to the bible but that's a whole other discussion. My love isn't eternal, it's here and now. It will cease to be but a memory once I've retired from this earth. That's what gives it it's potency. I don't know what I'm missing? I feel the same love as you, brother, we just interpret it's significance a little bit differently.

You're afraid that eternity doesn't exist for you, so you cling to the belief that your most sacred emotions (love, empathy) come from and are a part of god, an eternal force. Therefore your life-force (soul) must also be eternal. This is a very comforting thought, but not rational.

As an atheist I believe that this life is it. You interpret that right off to mean that I attribute no meaning to life. This would be a false assumption. If this is all I have, then every moment is that much more precious. Every chance I have to enjoy this beautiful, awesome earth and the wonderful people in my life is that much more valuable. I thank my lucky balls that I am fortunate to be able to play a small role in this clusterfuck of an existence we call life.

Do I fear death? No. The late, great Cristopher Hitchens said (and of course I can't find the damn quote at the moment) something to the effect of, we aren't aware of not being alive for all of eternity before we are born and it doesn't bother us, why would we think we'll be bothered by not existing after we die? (he said it much better than that) All matters of my life will cease to exist to me after I cease to exist, so it's inconsequential. My only fear concerning death is concerned within this life. Am I doing everything I can to live to the fullest while I am here? My regrets about my death only exist as a realization that I will never be able to experience everything that I want to in the short time I have here.

The way we live on is in our legacy. It's in the art we make, the music we create. The love and memories that will stay with our families and friends after we are gone. And, if we are lucky and motivated enough, maybe something we have done in life will live on to be remembered by the world long after our death.

That's the reason for reason, for inquiry, and critical thinking. After you shrug off the simple superstition that faith is, you are free to embrace the natural complexities of this world. The universe is simply awe inspiring (no god required), and learning about it is much more stimulating than simply chalking it up to god and sitting around going, "man, can't wait for heaven cus this place is kinda shitty". Perhaps one day my legacy will be to contribute something to further the evolution of humanity.

It probably won't be anything grand, but if it's only the simple things it's okay. Helping a friend through a rough time, raising my sons to be awesome little heathens, being a loving husband to my wife because she's fucking awesome and deserves it. Everything I can contribute to every moment of my life that is good and enjoyable is worth it because that's all I have. And I am bound and determined to make the most of it.

I am an atheist because god was too important to me to take lightly. I finally had to be honest with myself and ask those hard questions and find satisfying answers to them. I finally screwed up enough courage to look god straight in the eye....

Fuck me, but I was just looking at myself the whole time.

It's a scary thing to let go of faith, and for a lot of reasons. But I'm a better, more confident and surefooted person for having done so. This life and it's craziness makes a lot more sense now that I don't have to attribute everything to a magic entity.

But I don't speak for everyone else, this is just what my atheism means to me. Hope that helps some.

Excellent. Thumbsup

How can anyone become an atheist when we are all born with no beliefs in the first place? We are atheists because we were born this way.
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24-11-2013, 10:14 PM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
I am a non-stamp collector. I am also a non-many other things, including theist.
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24-11-2013, 10:29 PM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
(24-11-2013 09:26 PM)Free Wrote:  1. The majority of atheists are more honest in their assessments of the nature of things.

2. The majority of atheists are far more understanding and accepting of civil rights and advocate equality for all as opposed to religious sects.

3. The majority of atheists accept correction far more frequently than theists do in regards to rational thought. Theists tend to deny obvious indisputable evidence to preserve their beliefs, while atheists will change their point of view depending on the available evidence.

4. Almost all the atheists I have met have far more respect for whatever the truth is in regards to an issue than theists do. They tend to look for the facts instead of considering absurd possibilities.

1. I'll agree with this. It comes with the territory.

2. Yes, this is usually true.

3. Actually, the majority of atheists I've met in real life are the total opposite. The ones in my town are more focused on appearing superior to people of faith and they regularly argue for things that have already been disproven just to appear "right." The atheists I've met online are much more understanding and interested in the scientific method. Wish more of them lived near me. Tongue

4. I'm a little torn on this one. Online: yes. IRL: no.

I think there is just a general defensiveness no matter what faith/lack-o-faith you are. We have this huge idiotic power struggle between the fundy Christians and the vocal pagans around here, and the atheist are like "Lol, fuck this, you're *all* crazy." Everyone is fighting everyone else and there's a huge us vs. them mentality amongst the three groups.

I think I understand why a lot of people I know have been moving the past decade. It's stupid high school style drama being enacted by people in their 30s and 40s.

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24-11-2013, 10:29 PM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
It means I lack a belief in deities.

Through profound pain comes profound knowledge.
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25-11-2013, 01:59 AM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
I just want to sin.

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25-11-2013, 03:20 AM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
Atheist: noun
-1. not a theist
-2. lacking belief in god(s)

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25-11-2013, 04:18 AM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
Atheists are those who don't believe in a god or gods. Self-identifying atheists are generally people who see some specific harm in religion and want to fight it on some issues, often social issues.

Give me your argument in the form of a published paper, and then we can start to talk.
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25-11-2013, 05:34 AM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
I concur with what's been posted many times.

Atheism is just a disbelief in gods.
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25-11-2013, 06:17 AM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
(24-11-2013 04:05 PM)Dom Wrote:  Maybe we all have a good dose of skepticism.

I'm not so sure about that.

Wink

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25-11-2013, 06:32 AM
RE: Define Atheist: What Does It Mean To You?
To me, it's a lack in a belief in any god. That's it. That's all she wrote.

A little rudeness and disrespect can elevate a meaningless interaction to a battle of wills and add drama to an otherwise dull day - Bill Watterson
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